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Interview (English)  (Par mail)  mai 2016

Richard Lewis, an early Lush fan, published a fanzine about the band reunion and their creation of the Blind Spot EP. He's discussing for us his passion for the band, currently composed of : Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, guitars and voices, Phil King, bassist and Justin Welch to the drum, Chris Acland best friend's, and ex-Elastica drummer.

Can you tell us who you are, Richard Lewis ?

Richard Lewis : I’m just a big music fan and have been into Lush since 1990. They’re one of the few guitar-based bands that I still listen to these days as I now listen to a lot of techno, specifically minimal and dub techno, such as Deepchord, Deepbass and labels like Echospace. Lush struck a chord with me for so many different reasons; intricate, detailed pop songs with great hooks, accompanied with intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. 

When did you hear Lush for the first time ?

Richard Lewis : I was given a copy of Scar by a friend who was really into the band quite early on and then I remember buying Mad Love at HMV in Oxford Street, London. It was a combination of the music and beautiful artwork which enticed me. Though, if I’m really honest, I’d have to say that it was hearing the track "Sweetness and Light" for the first time that really made me fall in love with the band.

Do you remember their first gig you attended ?

Richard Lewis : Yes, it was at the Old Trout in Windsor in 1990 with a band called The Sandkings supporting, the singer of which ended up in Babylon Zoo, who did that "Spaceman" song that was a hit everywhere. I then saw them a few weeks later at a club in Reading called the After Dark where Slowdive supported them, alongside one other band, I think. It was a long time ago and I, unfortunately, have little recollection of the shows.

Could you tell us about your feelings on each of their albums and main eps, like Scar, Mad Love, Sweetness and Light ?

Richard Lewis : Well, it’s no secret that Split is my favourite album; I think that the album perfectly demonstrated the incredible songwriting skills of Emma Anderson. It was a more stripped-back sound and demonstrated a massive progression in their confidence both as musicians and songwriters. It proved that, as great as all the "effects and swirlyness" (Miki’s words) are, the band didn't have to have all of that to create fantastic music.

I also think that Lovelife is a brilliant record and I’ve never understood the negativity that gets thrown at it. There are some stunning tracks on there; ’Last Night’, for example, is one of my favourite Lush tracks and could quite happily have sat alongside other tracks on Split, just as ‘Hypocrite’ would have worked as well on Lovelife. I don’t believe that there was this huge shift in sound that the press, and even some fans, seem to declare. At the heart of what Lush do, there are these incredibly detailed, well-written pop songs with a very British feel about them. For me, their music surpasses any genre or scene description.

As you’ll well know, Scar, Mad Love and Sweetness and Light were all compiled to create the Gala album, initially released for the US market. There’s a rawness, an abrasiveness, on Scar that I love; all the tracks were actually a collection of demos; it’s very much the sound of a band discovering their own, unique sound and you can hear an enormous amount of potential in the band, even at this early stage. By Mad Love the band were working with Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins and his signature production can be heard all over this record. Out of these three EP’s, Mad Love is the strongest for me as a whole, but my favourite track out of all of them is, as I mentioned before, "Sweetness and Light".

What do you think about the Lush come back ?

Richard Lewis : I, like many fans, had resigned myself to the fact that it was just never going to happen, so when the news broke last September I was thrilled, to say the least! Not just reuniting to perform shows, but with the addition of newly written and recorded material in the form of the Blind Spot EP,  Lush are approaching the whole reunion very differently to other bands and I have an incredible amount of respect for them for doing that. To come back after 20 years with such a strong record is a massive achievement and I definitely consider it to be amongst some of the best recordings the band have ever made. The intricate detail in the songwriting and production coupled with Miki’s fantastic lyrics and vocal performance all add up to make a great record. The reaction to it has been amazing and it’s so nice that people are now talking about the band in terms of their music as opposed to their partying antics, which was very much the case back in the 90s.

You decided to publish a fanzine called "Thoughtforms", why this song title precisely ?

Richard Lewis : The idea to write about the band actually came about over 20 years ago, but never got off the ground for many different reasons. Then, when the reunion was announced in September last year, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally do what I had intended on doing all those years ago, but this time to celebrate the return of the band. I started by doing two social media fan pages on Twitter and Facebook, which are both still doing really well, but thought that the band and their fans deserved more than just the odd post or tweet here and there, and so the idea for the magazine was born. As for the name, Thoughtforms, I was really struggling for a name, so I actually asked Miki what she thought and and she suggested I send an email to everyone in the band to get their feedback, so I did just that. Thoughtforms was actually my suggestion and the band liked it; Phil King thought it a good title for a publication and so the name stuck. I had wondered, initially, if it was perhaps too obvious a name, but I think it works perfectly.

The aim with the fanzine, is to present to the fans and others music lovers the Blind Spot creation from an insider point of view, with all the people involved around Lush. How do you manage to contact all the people involved ?

Richard Lewis : The aim, if you like, was to focus on the band in its present state. Over the years there has been so much written online about the band, so many photographs which everyone has seen before etc, etc, and so I wanted to get a different and fresh angle on everything and I think I achieved that. The emphasis was on the reunion of the band, all the background detail of the Blind Spot EP, from the songwriting, recording and production on to the artwork, photography, graphic design and the video for ‘Out Of Control’. I think it’s worked out really well. There’s been some incredible feedback and several people have said things like it’s enhanced the whole experience of the band’s reunion for them, which is incredibly flattering.

Did you call the band to explain your project ? How the things were going to be ?

Richard Lewis : It all started from a quick message on Twitter to Emma where I mentioned the idea of creating a fanzine and my ideas for it. Miki had sent me an email thanking me for the social media pages and from that point we were all in regular contact with each other. I was aware that everyone had full-time jobs and families as well as the band and so I didn’t want to be intrusive, but they were brilliant; lovely, open, honest people and without their help it would never have gotten off the ground. They put me in contact with different people, such as Ivo Watts-Russell and Chris Bigg; I thought it would be a long shot getting them involved but they were incredibly supportive of the project and dedicated a lot of time to me. It was an absolute honour to talk with them as they were hugely influential people to me when I was growing up. I had pretty set ideas about what and who I wanted to feature and how it would be presented, so it was very much my own project.

What is your next step about Lush ? Do you want to write a book about the band ?

Richard Lewis : A second issue of Thoughtforms is being worked on at the moment, which should be published in time for the North American tour dates, which begin in New York on 14th September at Terminal 5. There are no plans for a book, though I do hope to continue running the magazine for as long as possible to document each step of this new era of the band. A lot of people assumed that Thoughtforms would be a one-off, so it’s nice that many people who purchased the first issue are interested in knowing that there will be a second one soon.

Could you tell us which wine will you recommend when you listen to Spooky or Split ?

Richard Lewis : Probably a Pinot Noir for its subtlety, texture and nuance; three words that come to mind when I think about the music of Lush.


A lire aussi sur Froggy's Delight :

La chronique de l'album Blind Spot EP de Lush
Lush en concert au Festival La Route du Rock #26 (dimanche 14 août 2016)
L'interview de Richard Lewis, fan de Lush (mai 2016)

En savoir plus :
Le site officiel du fan club de Lush
Le Facebook du fan club de Lush

Cédric Duchamp         
Nouveau Actualités Voir aussi Contact
• A lire aussi sur Froggy's Delight :

# 17 février 2019 : Presque le printemps

De Kafka à Kukafka, Miossec à Berlioz, il y a de quoi lire, voir, écouter cette semaine dans la petite sélection culturelle de nos chroniqueurs. En route pour le sommaire.

Du côté de la musique :

"Gallipoli" de Beirut
"Ulysse et Mona" de Minizza
Rencontre avec Miossec autour de son album "Les Rescapés"
Une discographie d'Hector Berlioz par Jérôme Gillet
"Been meaning to tell you" de Ina Forsman
"4eme jour, Kan Ya Ma Kan" de Interzone
"A thousand days" de June Bug
EP de Bertille
"Morning room EP" de Catfish
"Souviens toi" de Laurent Montagne
"Blood siren" de Sarah McCoy
"Complètement flippé" de 16 Kat
et toujours :
"Persona" de Betrand Belin
"Les rivages barbelés" de Intratextures
"The mirror" de Nicolas Gardel et Rémi Panossian
"La révolte des couverts" de Wildmimi
"The sublime" de Yeruselem
"Aksham" de Aksham
"Last train" de Big Dez
"Tightrope EP" de Bigger
Caroline Loeb au Grand Point Virgule pour jouer "Comme Sagan" en live
Présentation du 11ème festival de Beauregard et de sa programmation
"Kalune EP" de Kalune

Au théâtre :

les nouveautés de la semaine :
"Kafka sur le rivage" au Théâtre de la Colline
"Matin et Soir" au Théâtre de l'Aquarium
"J'ai pris mon père sur mes épaules" au Théâtre du Rond-Point
"Pourquoi dis, m'as-tu volé mes yeux" au Théâtre La Croisée des Chemins
"Les membres fantômes" au Théâtre La Flèche
"Le bois dont je suis fait" au Théâtre de Belleville
"Peur(s)au Théâtre L'Etoile du Nord
"A vue" au Théâtre de la Tempête
"Merci" à La Folie Théâtre
"Barber Shop Quartet - Chapitre IV" au Théâtre Essaion
"Maria Dolorès y Habibi Starlight" au Café de la Danse
les reprises:
"Grande" au Centquatre
"Politiquement correct" au Théâtre de l'Oeuvre
et la chronique des autres spectacles à l'affiche en février

Expositions avec :

"Roux ! De Jean-Jacques Henner à Sonia Rykiel" au Musée Jean-Jacques Henner
et dernière ligne droite pour "Rodin - Dessiner Découper" au Musée Rodin

Cinéma avec :

le film de la semaine : "Le jeune Picasso" de Phil Bradsky

Lecture avec :

"Dans la neige" de Danya Kukafka
Interview de Nylso dans le cadre du festival de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême
"L'île longue" de Victoire de Changy
"La main noire" de Robert Vincent illustré des musiques de Anthony Reynolds
"Le manufacturier / responsabilité absolue" de Mattias Köpling / Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
"Sans compter la neige" de Brice Homs
"So sad today" de Melissa Broder
et toujours :
"Angola janga" de Marcelo D'Salete
Interview de Stella Lory dans le cadre du festival de la BD d'Angoulême
"Gangs of L.A." de Joe Ide
"Hunger : une histoire de mon corps" de Roxane Gay
"L'Amérique derrière moi" de Erwan Desplanques
"L'ombre d'un père" de Christoph Hein
"Le président des ultra riches" de Michel Pinçon et Monique Pinçon Charlot
"Que faire des cons ?" de Maxime Rovere
"Une éducation" de Tara Westover

Froggeek's Delight :

"I Will Survive" petit tour d'horizon des jeux dits "Survival"

Bonne lecture, bonne culture, et à la semaine prochaine.

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